The Arts

About this page

The arts section is joining up with Ja. Magazine, an online platform that collects, curates and celebrates the work of local creatives, with a handmade twist. Together with Ja. Magazine, The Journalist Arts page will bring you interviews, reviews and profiles from arts and music festivals around the country. We bring you interviews with upcoming legends and community artists while providing history and context. We do this by celebrating the unique power of the talented men and women who have strengthened the creative fabric of our society through the ages.

Mancoba in a class of his own

Mancoba in a class of his own

Phindile Xaba The late Ernest Mancoba, painter and sculptor, should be to South Africans as Van Gogh is to the Dutch and Picasso is to the Spanish.  He, like others, have for too long been excluded from the South African narrative. He is considered to be in a class of his own and yet his work is not sufficiently studied at South African universities or art schools. The father of writer Njabulo Ndebele, Nimrod Ndebele, a playwright and friend, is known to have described Mancoba as the leading...

In defiance of prejudice

In defiance of prejudice

 Zubeida Jaffer [intro]South African soprano Pumeza Matshikiza has come home to present a special solo concert at the Roodepoort Theatre on 2 November 2021.  She will sing a selection of opera arias and traditional South African songs from her current repertoire. [/intro]   I was fortunate to be invited to preview the show with family and friends at the theatre on Friday 15 October 2021. She and her accompanying pianist Paul Ferreira received several standing ovations from the enthusiastic...

Art and the fight for freedom

Art and the fight for freedom

The events of 21 March 1960 in Sharpeville forced South Africa’s artists to create work that responded to the political moment. Many used their creativity to bolster the liberation movement.

Kadaf opens up about his hit single and fighting GBV

Kadaf opens up about his hit single and fighting GBV

Besides music, the artist is involved in the national gender-based #ActNow Campaign. The campaign was formed by black men who decided to take a stand against the ongoing Gender-Based Violence in South Africa.

The Crown

The Crown

A short story set in the time of the pandemic

How Zulu radio dramas subverted apartheid’s grand design

How Zulu radio dramas subverted apartheid’s grand design

Prof Liz Gunner [intro]In Johannesburg, during the Sophiatown era of the 1950s, gangsters would routinely order a writer or journalist like Can Themba or Bloke Modisane, to recite Shakespeare to them on street corners.[/intro] For a time, Shakespeare became part of the rhetoric of the streets. One of the favourite requests was for the revolutionary funeral oration by Mark Anthony, in Julius Caesar: “Friends, Romans, Countrymen…” This may be because the writer and broadcaster King Edward...

Musical masters fuse Western and traditional music

Musical masters fuse Western and traditional music

Michelle Galloway [intro]A South African composer, Michael Blake and Ugandan composer Justinian Tamusuza, talk about the fusion of western and traditional music, cultural appropriation and finding their “voice”.[/intro] Justinian Tamusuza is a Ugandan composer of contemporary classical music. His music combines elements of traditional Ugandan music and Western music. He is based at the Department of Performing Arts and Film (PAF) at Makerere University. Michael Blake is a South African...

Whispering Truth To Power

Whispering Truth To Power

Staff Writer [intro]Whispering Truth To Power, Shameela Seedat’s documentary about Thuli Madonsela’s last year as South Africa’s public protector, has been released and is available to watch on the streaming platform Showmax.[/intro] Whispering Truth To Power won the Special Jury Prize at Hot Docs, North America’s most important documentary festival, as well as awards at FESPACO, Luxor African Film Festival, and Jozi Film Festival, where it was also the opening night film, as it was at the...

The resilience of culture

The resilience of culture

[intro]The film The Sound of Masks explores dance, memory and the meaning of life, ancestry, culture and political struggle in postcolonial Mozambique.[/intro] "I am Atanásio Cosme Nyusi, son of my father, healer without master born on the Makonde plateau where there are bridges without rivers and the people believe in life after death." THE SOUND OF MASKS - TEASER DEC 2016 from Lionfish Productions on Vimeo. The Sound of Masks is a visual meditation on the nature of memory in postcolonial...

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